Cambered Corner – SCCA Formula 4 with Paul Charsley

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Early last fall, the Sports Car Club of America announced a new entry-level pro formula car program, Formula 4. When most people think of junior formula programs in the US, the Mazda Road to Indy is the first to come to mind. While the combination of USF2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights makes for an excellent program for those seeking a career in IndyCar, it’s lack of inclusion in the Super License program makes it a challenging path for those seeking a career in Formula 1.

F4-Rendering

“Along with the FIA, SCCA Pro Racing sees the cost of racing equipment and operations as significant limiting factors in open-wheel racing participation,” said Robert Clarke, President of SCCA Pro Racing. “The model for F4, based on a simple, yet contemporary vehicle, with strict price controls, is designed to entice new young drivers from karting into cars. We are excited about bringing this opportunity to the United States and the aspiring young racer.”

Paul gives us the complete details on the origins of the Formula 4 program, how it fits into the SCCA Pro Racing program, and into the larger American junior formula car racing landscape.

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Rapierman
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Rapierman
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Admittedly, I have no idea what $45-55 thousand will get you in this system.

Paul Charsley
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Paul Charsley
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a car but no running budget

MIE
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MIE
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With some less well funded European racers finding they can make a living racing in the US, how will this series help aspiring US drivers raise the extra funding to race in Europe?
With FIA Formula 4 series being run all over the world, are there any plans for an equivalent of the FF1600 festival?

Paul Charsley
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Plan is for a champions shoot-out but it hasn’t been sorted yet. This series would hopefully fund the champions to run in Europe. With it being a Formula that everyone knows it will help build credibility for the US drivers

TomFirth
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I wonder if we will ever see the champions shoot-out, presumably they would have to have a separate set of cars for it, because otherwise how do you balance the different chassis/engine packages the world over, and also how would the teams/drivers afford it if it involved taking the car overseas?

MIE
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MIE
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Teams must have taken their cars to Brands Hatch for the FF1600 festival in the days when they had twelve or more heats in the first round. There wouldn’t have been enough current cars within the UK otherwise. If there were super license points available for the event it may attract current and past formula 4 drivers.

TomFirth
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Agreed, though a rather different time and I’m just thinking aloud really on how tight some budgets even in MSA formula are right now.